You find a parking spot at a shopping centre at last, then as you pull into it, you realise that you are going to have to manoeuvre your way out of the car like a contortionist because the guy in the red Golf next to you parked right on the line. As you finally get out and close the door, there’s a man with a bucket and shammy who looks at you and asks that dreaded question filled with hope, “Can i wash the car?” You decline and walk away filled with guilt and shame, you’re a dream-killer. You proceed, but throughout the entire shopping trip, you worry about whether you are going to come back to your car to find a nice red raspberry smear on the side of your front door, because the man in the red Golf let his kid fling the door right open and bashed it into yours without looking.
Every man and his dog is inside the shopping centre so you push your way through the pathways, past crying children and feet-draggers, only to get stuck behind a slow-moving family of 4 who have come to the centre to kill time on a Saturday. What’s more – they insist on walking in a straight line across so that absolutely nobody can pass them.
When you do eventually get into the shop and you find what you are looking for, you will individually go through each item hanging on that rack to search for your size on the tiny label which insists on hiding, only to find that they don’t have your size! Or worse, you can see that they have your size…but it’s hanging so high up above your head that you will need either a ladder or a hook to remove it and most likely drop it on your head as it falls off the hanger. All the while getting death stares from angry shop assistants who cant believe that you have the audacity to pull a clothing item off the hanger just so that you can try it on to see if you can possibly buy it, how dare you? During which time you are thinking to yourself, “Please, shop assistant, please return to your work of folding those t-shirts in painfully neat piles and placing them on a table so that when i need to find my size right at the bottom the pile, i can make a mess of your masterpiece and you can roll your eyes at me and stand behind me like my shadow until i feel so guilty that i just put the t-shirt down and decide i really don’t need it all, how silly of me to think i did!”
Once your size is found, you will proceed to the fitting rooms; where you will queue for ages, just to have the fitting room assistant look at the heavy pile of clothes in your hand and say to you lazily: “Only 4 items”. So you ditch the other 6 items you were holding onto and you know that you will never come back for them because there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of you slipping out of the change room in just your undergarments to fetch the next 6 pairs of jeans to try on. So you write those off.
Now for the “fitting room face off”. You look at yourself in that mirror and hate yourself before you have even begun. Don’t bother looking for a hook to hang your “four items only” on because you wont find it, so just dump them on the floor and go from there. Well, if you can find any room on the floor, amongst the filth, dust and chunks of hair.
Proceed to allow the horrendous lighting to make you feel like you should never have left the house (ever in your life) because are you seriously this fat and ugly? You really hadn’t realised the urgency of this situation! So after swearing off carbs for life, you find the pair of jeans that you hate the least and think, “I don’t even care, i just want to get the hell out of here now.”
You reach the checkout to find a queue of 20 people standing there in line because although there are 5 checkout points…only 2 people are working today! Once you have finally reached the front and made the payment, you proceed to find your car so that you can head back to the safety, size and flattering lighting of your own home. But wait, you have to pay for your parking first! So you put that ticket in and it hits you with an amount that you cant fathom unless theres a tiny treat left for you on your car when you return. But you have no choice so you start searching for coins. You put in the R5 and it spits it out, so you rub it on the machine and try it again – nothing! So you are forced to reach for that R100 note in your wallet, you reluctantly place it in the machine and look around you, embarrassed, as the coins start to pour out as if you have just hit the jackpot on the slot machines in the casino. Awesome – R91 in coins – just what you needed.
This ends with you getting in your car with your 1 measly and disappointing packet and swearing that you will NEVER go shopping again.